Teeth whitening is one of the most popular of all cosmetic dental procedures. With all of the over-the-counter whiteners to choose from, many people are now whitening their smiles at home, as well. Bright white teeth help to make a person look young and healthy, and the whitening process is generally painless and inexpensive. Before you head to the store to brighten your smile, it is an excellent idea to understand the tooth whitening process.
There are actually two types of teeth whitening procedures. The first type is called bleaching. Bleaching is considered to be a whitening process that is able to bring the teeth to a color that is lighter or brighter than their natural color. The second procedure, which is most commonly used, is the whitening procedure. This process brightens the tooth color by removing all debris and staining from the teeth. Bleaching is a much less common procedure and is usually considered to be damaging to the tooth enamel. Keep this in mind when you choose a whitening product.
Because there are several types of stains that appear on teeth, there are many types of whitening products. Extrinsic stains are caused by external factors like exposure to food or nicotine. Intrinsic stains are caused by damage to the internal structure of the tooth. In some cases, this internal damage appears as a darkening of the tooth enamel. Both extrinsic and intrinsic stains can be treated with whitening products although intrinsic stains are more difficult to treat.
Whitening products come in many styles. You can purchase teeth whitening strips, whitening gel, whitening trays and whitening toothpastes to brighten your smile. Whitening toothpastes contain mild abrasives that help to remove the debris and surface stains from the teeth. These toothpastes are usually the mildest form of tooth whitening, and you may have to use the paste for several weeks before you see results. Whitening strips and whitening trays also take a few weeks of use for maximum results, but the results are more dramatic than with toothpaste alone. The combined use of whitening toothpaste and whitening strips can hasten the results, but that process can also cause tooth sensitivity.
Another excellent way to get a whiter smile is by visiting your dentist. Choosing the whitening process in a dentist's office is the quickest method of gaining white teeth. In a typical visit, a whitening liquid or gel is applied directly to the teeth. The process is enhanced with the addition of heat or laser to activate the gel. The entire visit takes about an hour, and the results can be seen immediately. For deeper stains or heavily damaged teeth several visits might be required. Regardless of the method that you choose, whitening your teeth is an excellent way to increase your confidence and make your smile feel brand new.